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Good for Some

It’s nice to think that the universe was made by a beneficent god to be our own personal jigsaw puzzle but apparently that’s not the case. We were created for a lower purpose. According to an irritatingly smug young boffin on the TV our bodies provide living space and sustenance for billions of bacteria. Without them, none of us could survive. Without us, they’d simply find some other way to make a living.

It’s a sobering thought, even for a teetotaller. When you consume a juicy fillet steak and help it down with a bottle of expensive red wine you’re not so much eating and drinking as passing it on to a horde of ravenous microbes. They’re the ones that really get stuck in and give you gas. The result of their noisy party is chemical leftovers and your body has to be content with absorbing that. Yet despite the resultant hangover you still have to pay the restaurant bill. What a crowd of freeloaders. Next time I go out for dinner I’m going to order a broccoli omelette and a glass of water and let’s see what the little bastards make of that.

This new information about my insignificance has made me look at the world differently. If bacteria are hitching a ride in my guts what else is happening that I ought to know about?

The told-you-so boffin on the TV said that the bacteria are there for our own good. I’ve heard something like that before. Ah yes, from bureaucrats and politicians. These days there seems to be an unholy alliance between the two. If there’s something bureaucrats disapprove of or just want to be otherwise about – inevitably something enjoyable - politicians ban it or massively tax it.

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